Singtel Innov8 Singapore airlines invest in Australia’s Data Republic
The corporate VC arm of Singtel led a US$16.2 million investment in the startup
Singtel Innov8, the corporate VC arm of telecom company Singtel, has led a AUD 22 million (US$16.2 million) Series B funding in Australian data-sharing platform Data Republic. Singtel will gain a seat on the board following its investment.
Other participating investors in the round include Singapore VC firm Qualgro, ANZ, Reinventure and Ryder Innovation Fund.
The move will enable Data Republic to expand its presence in Singapore; in June, it opened an office in the country. The partnerships will also help to facilitate the seamless and secure trading of data between the two countries.
For example, financial institutions using Data Republic’s infrastructure to exchange data will be able to conduct cross-border transactions quicker because they are able to gain ready access to each other’s customer data easily — essentially streamlining the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process.
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In a separate announcement, Singapore Airlines (SIA) announced that it also made an investment in Data Republic, via a placement of new shares.
“Singapore Airlines recognises the increasing importance that data plays in allowing organisations to have an enriched understanding of customers’ understanding,” said George Wang, Senior Vice President of Information Technology at SIA.
“Our investment in Data Republic highlights our commitment to data innovation through a platform which leverages technology to ensure data security and privacy and further enhance our digital capabilities,” he added.
In recent months, the national carrier has been making strides to muscle up its tech capabilities. At the beginning of this year, SIA launched a three-year Digital Innovation Blueprint plan to improve all facades of its business — from customer service to aircraft maintenance — using innovative technology.
Just a month later, it said it will package its airline loyalty programme KrisFlyer into a digital wallet, powered by blockchain technology.
And in October, SIA announced the launch of KrisConnect, an open platform initiative that will allow its travel partners to use its Application Programme Interfaces (APIs) to build solutions that will enhance the company’s offerings.